Court Ruling on Dog “Bolt” Death Sentence Postponed

Rodrigues Family

While many have been anxiously waiting to hear the outcome of the much debated Bolt case, involving two women being bit in the face by an Alaskan Malamute, the hearing held for January 16th was postponed in order to allow more review for the parties involved.

“The hearing was continued to give the City time to prepare and deliver the administrative record in this matter and time for review by other attorney’s involved,” stated City Manager Roy Wasden. “When everyone is ready, a new court date will be set.”

The case began in November, 2012 when the City of Turlock sentenced Bolt, an Alaskan Malamute owned by Turlock resident Dan Mendonca, to be euthanized after two cases arose claiming that 20 year olds McKenzie Leedom and Macie Gilstrap had both been attacked by the dog on two separate occasions. Both Leedom and Gilstrap suffered from injuries to the face, resulting in stitches for both women.

After Mendonca petitioned the City’s decision, however, Judge Timothey Salter issued a stay on Bolt’s death sentence and scheduled a hearing for January 16th, 2013. The hearing that was to be held was meant to determine if the City of Turlock’s designation of Bolt being a “vicious” dog was accurate.

Bolt has remained in the custody of Turlock Animal Services throughout the litigation, and Mendonca was ordered by the court to pay the City of Turlock for daily maintenance and care of Bolt.

Mendonca continues to actively fight for the life of his pet, and has even began selling ‘Save Bolt’ t-shirts to the community members as a means to raise money for court and attorney fees.

In December, supporters of Bolt even picketed outside of City Hall with ‘Save Bolt’ signs. But not everyone is in support of dog living, as many others have expressed sentiments of putting the victims’ well being before the dog’s life, and calling the animal ‘vicious’ as well.

The story surrounding the incident has also been highly discussed, as some believe that the dog was provoked by Leedom, while others hold Medonca accountable. The attorneys present at the hearing, when rescheduled, will provide clearer information surrounding the incident.

Both Leedom and Gilstrap have spoken out about the issue, stating that the outcome of the case is in the hands of the court and the City of Turlock.

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